Mike Wilton

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So I wanted to stop by and start a dialogue following a conversation I had today with the manager who is taking over my role at the company I am leaving. We were discussing the limited resources available for SEO and where resources should be spent most. During the conversation the amount of time it takes to cleanup local and local citations came up and he asked if I felt it made more sense to clean up local and get all your core citations updated or get your basics claimed (e.g. Google+, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp) and then focus the rest of your time on just strong online marketing in organic SEO (e.g. link building, content marketing, etc.)

To give you some back story, the company I work for works with cosmetic surgeons, dentists, and dermatologists. So obviously local is pretty vital to their online presence. I know what my response to him was, but I'd LOVE to hear the feedback of the community, as I think it could bring some interesting dialogue to the forum.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks Mike! This is a great question that I hope will create a good discussion. I'll try to weigh in tonight. Still backed up and playing catch up after my PC crash.

I'll Tweet this and see if we can get some insights going.
 

JacobPuhl

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Hey Mike,

Great and very relevant question. Every local seo agency has to answer that same question inherently - what to focus on first.

In my experience, everything starts with local citation consistency. Traditional "organic" seo can be effective, but the citation consistency is almost like a multiplier. So you'll find it much harder to rank for terms that matter and drive actual leads without consistency. This is coming from internal email lead and phone call tracking data.

So having bad citation/NAP listings act as huge 'ankle weights' in the SEO efforts. Combined effort works magically, but starting with pristine NAP/citation consistency in my experience. First place to start in my option - get the anke weights lifted to open the client up for powerful long tail seo efforts...
 

Mike Wilton

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Thanks for the response Josh. That was my take on it as well, not to mention if you don't clean up NAP early on you risk running into issues with duplicates in Google+ Local, which if associated with your site could wind up creating a mess with rankings in and of itself. Curious to hear more thoughts on this though, I would LOVE to hear more takes from folks in the forum. Maybe even some thoughts on how folks handle it all and what they tackle first. e.g. are there certain citations they worry about in the beginning and then perhaps they split their efforts from organic and citation building from there out...
 

Chase Billow

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I think JacobPuhl hit the nail on the head with that one, but there's more to the question (and I'd like to hear everyone's take on it, too. I think it's an important question) and that is - which one converts better? ie, would you rather have a spot in the 7-pack or a spot on page 1 of organics?

Like everything else in this business, there's so many factors and so many different situations, that one business' experience may not be so applicable to another type of business.

I would have to do a lot of research on a bunch of my stats but, if I had to pick one, I would say I'd rather have the organic over the Maps. I know that's just an opinion and does't really help answer the question much, but I'm too busy (lazy?) to dig in and really figure it out right now haha.
 
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